Strangers would often approach Jo, touching her abdomen, and asking when the baby was due.
Everyone thought the 35-year-old British woman was pregnant due to her large belly, but she was actually showing symptoms of her dangerous alcohol addiction.
Jo worked in a bar for years and became addicted to alcohol. Her alcoholism became more severe over the course of five years. Jo sometimes drank more than three bottles of wine a day.
Her liver was impaired so much that nutrients that would otherwise by processed by her liver accumulated inside her abdomen, according to Little Things.
Jo’s condition became so precarious that she developed cirrhosis of the liver, which causes healthy tissue to become scarred.
One of the side effects of cirrhosis of the liver is ascites — fluid retention in the abdomen that produces a “baby bump” and forms bulging veins on the stomach.
Jo goes to a hospital every three weeks to have several quarts of fluid drained from her abdomen. During the procedure, health care workers insert a painful needle and catheter into her body.
Doctors once removed more than 6 gallons of fluid from her belly during an eight-hour procedure.
Unless she receives a liver transplant, Jo’s chances of survival are low, reports Daily Mail. While she is now sober, the irreparable damage has already been done.
She has moved back in with her mother Ann, who is her caretaker, and is barred from having a credit or debit card to prevent her from buying alcohol. Jo is locked inside the home when her mother is away.
Ann says she took her daughter in after seeing Jo’s flat filled with empty bottles.
Jo was featured on a TV show called “Old Before My Time,” which highlights how excessive drinking is hurting young people throughout the U.K.